Documentation Guidelines for Learning Disabilities

Disability documentation must validate the need for services based on a student’s current level of functioning. An Individual Education Program (IEP) or a Summary of Performance (SOP) might be acceptable sources of such documentation. The determination of an IEP or SOP as sufficient documentation is on a case-by-case basis as school corporations widely differ regarding the comprehensive nature of those reports.

A high-quality report contains narrative about the diagnostic testing used to detect a learning disability. The report should also indicate the learning disability substantially limits the major life activity of learning and include a list of accommodations a student used in an educational setting.

Examples of acceptable testing instruments are below.


  • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale – (WAIS-III or WAIS-R)
  • Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-III)
  • Kaufman Adolescent and Adult Intelligence Test


  • Scholastic Abilities Test for Adults (SATA)
  • Stanford Test of Academic Skills (TASK)
  • Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-educational Battery – Revised: Tests of Achievement
  • Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT)
  • Nelson-Denny Reading Skills Test
  • Stanford Diagnostic Mathematics Test
  • Test of Written Language – 3 (TOWL-3)
  • Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests – Revised


  • Detroit Tests of Learning Aptitude – (DTLA-3) or
  • Detroit Tests of Learning Aptitude – Adult (DTLA-A)
  • Information from subtests on WAIS-R or
  • Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-educational Battery – Revised

When a student’s second language acquisition is a concern, it is helpful to include the Modern Language Aptitude Test (MLAT). The Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing for ages 7-24 (CTOPP) and an official letter from the student’s high school stating the background history of the student’s language acquisition level and/or substitution rationale is also helpful.